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Travel Tips

Here’s what travellers need to know about Nanaimo Airport

By Travel Tips

Planning to fly this summer? Nanaimo Airport will help take the stress out of travel. You don’t need to worry about ferry cancellations or hours-long waits in line. And friendly faces are available to help you in the terminal.

Here’s some important airport information to help make your trip a smooth one:

Hours of Operation
Nanaimo Airport is open 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. daily. Security is on site 24 hours a day.

Arrival and Check-In Times
Arrival time” is when the airport and its airline partners suggest you check in for your flight. At this time Nanaimo Airport is not experiencing any significant delays due to security clearance and encourages arriving 90 minutes prior to arrival to ensure you get to the departure lounge in a timely manner.

“Check-in time” is when the airlines need you to have completed your baggage check and have your boarding pass in hand. Please ensure you check-in at least 45 minutes before a flight.

Nanaimo Airport has hundreds of stalls and offers short-term and long-term vehicle parking. Accessible parking is also available. For your convenience, you can pay by the Honk app or use the Pay by Plate kiosks. (Remember your license plate number!)

Transportation Options
You can get to and from the airport via bus, taxi, shuttle or rental car. Nanaimo Airporter Shuttle, AC Taxi and Yellow Cab can all be reserved in advance. Transit bus service runs several times per day Monday to Saturday. Budget and National car rental agencies are on site.

Customer Service
When you’re in the terminal, the airport’s Blue Navigator Ambassadors and Customer Care team are ready to help. Customer Care is available seven days a week from 4 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Call 250-924-2157 ext. 1200 when you need assistance.

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the main terminal, and work/charging stations and in-seat charging can be found in the departure lounge.

For more information, visit and follow @FlyYCD on social media.

Transfer Beach: A local favourite.

By Travel Tips

If you ask any resident of Ladysmith where the most popular place for family gatherings, beach days, kayak sessions or enjoying fresh food from a food truck by a water park, they’ll likely tell you that it’s Transfer Beach; one of Vancouver Island’s many beloved beaches. Located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, in a picturesque harbour surrounded by hills of Douglas Fir and Western Cedars, Transfer Beach has captured local’s and tourist’s hearts alike.

Some of the summer activities enjoyed at Transfer Beach include swimming, picnicking, Frisbee, beach volleyball and kayaking. For children there is a playground and a water spray park. There is also the sandy beach and swimming, as well as kayak, paddle board and canoe rentals. Transfer Beach also includes an off-leash dog area, making it a popular area for long strolls with furry family members.

“Transfer Beach, Ladysmith BC” by maplemusketeer is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Aside from public recreational activities, there’s even more to this scenic park than meets the eye.  All throughout the grounds are bits of history with plaques and information on them for visitors to enjoy and learn even more about the community. Not a history buff? These benches are also popular spots for bird watching. Some of the birds in the area include Bald Eagles, Blue Herons and lots of seagulls.

Are you wondering why the Transfer Beach gained its name? In the early 1900’s, the beach was part of the shoreline that housed a facility for off-loading contents from the ferries carrying coal and lumber that sailed from Vancouver. It was near Transfer Beach that these goods were transferred, thus giving the picturesque area its namesake!

Transfer Beach is just 8 minutes South of Nanaimo Airport, with direct access off the Trans Canada Highway.


Looking for more things to do around Vancouver Island? Check out our Top 5 spots to explore in Port Alberni this summer!

Top 5 spots to explore in Port Alberni this summer

By Travel Tips

This summer is the summer to explore close to home. Luckily, we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, so finding amazing new adventures and locations is easy.

Today we want to feature Port Alberni/ the Alberni Valley, and talk about our top 5 spots that you should out this summer.


Hole in the wall

The Hole in the wall is a unique land feature that was originally the opening for a pipeline that provided the town of port Alberni with fresh water. The pipeline was eventually removed, the water continued and eventually eroded what was left of the wooden pipeline, leaving behind the “Hole In The Wall”.

The short walk takes approximately 15 minutes from the parking lot, and the trail is well marked. Click here for more info.

Hole in the wall waterfall

Hole in the wall. Photo by Rebecca Bollwitt

Stamp River Provincial Park

Enjoy views of the waterfall or make your way through the many trails and paths that work their way through the beautiful old growth forest. The park is named after Captain Edward Stamp,

the pioneer who build Port Alberni’s earliest sawmill. A major event at the park is the salmon run which happens in late August and continues into December with the Coho and Chinook spawns. Click here to learn more.

Stamp River Falls

Stamp River Falls. Photo by David Stanley

Sproat Lake Provincial Park

Sproat Lake provincial park is a must see if you are looking for a beautiful afternoon picnic spot, or to get away for some camping. The park has an incredible beach and swimming area, and trails that can lead you down to some petroglyphs that are carved into a cliff side along the lake. For more info, click here.

Sproat Lake Petroglyphs

Sproat Lake Petroglyphs. Photo by Kevstan

Harbour Quay

Looking to do some shopping or try some local eats? The Harbour Quay has some amazing local spots that are sure to hit the spot. Not to mention the beautiful views of the inlet, and some incredible local art. The Harbour is also home to the MV Frances Barkley that can take you on an incredible marine journey out to the coastal towns of Bamfield and Kildonan. To learn more, click here.

The Harbour Quay.

The Harbour Quay.

Fossli Provincial Park

Fossli Provincial Park is a beautiful undeveloped park located on Sproat lake. The park features a 3.4km loop trail that takes you to an old homestead site. You will also find a beautiful creek, waterfall and a suspension bridge. For more info on the park, and how to get there, click here.

Fossil Falls. Photo by Sandy McRuer

Fossli Falls. Photo by Sandy McRuer

5 tips to simplify your winter travel

By Simplify Your Travel, Travel Tips

Chasing the sun this winter? Planning ahead can ensure your flight gives you a vacation from stress as well as from local weather, says Nanaimo Airport’s Customer Care team.

The airport offers a convenient starting point for central Islanders looking to avoid congestion at larger airports, where lineups are long during the busiest travel time of the year. The central Island’s airport of choice offers hundreds of connecting flights through Air Canada and WestJet. And you don’t need an expensive ferry ride/hotel stay to take one.

To help your travel go smoothly, the Customer Care team offers the following tips:

    1. Arrive early
      Get to Nanaimo Airport at least 90 minutes before your flight. If you’re driving yourself, allow a few more minutes to park.
    2. Go through security as soon as you can
      More people travelling means more people – and baggage – going through security screening. Fortunately, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), which is responsible for screening, upgraded its system earlier this year to handle more volume. Even with the extra capacity, it’s a good idea to go through security early. You can then relax in the expanded departure lounge. There you’ll find TVs, a play area for kids, and food and beverage machines.
    3. Know what you can bring on board
      Not sure about the rules for liquids and gels? (Hint: If they’re smaller than 100ml, they can go in your carry-on.) CATSA provides a handy search tool for determining what you can bring on a flight at
    4. Check your flight and paperwork
      Before you leave for the airport, be sure to visit your airline’s website for up-to-the-minute flight information. And make sure you have the necessary paperwork for air travel.
    5. Ask for help
      Nanaimo Airport’s Customer Care team and volunteer Blue Navigators (in the bright blue vests) are on duty in the air terminal building to answer your questions.


5 Reasons To Fly Local

By Travel Tips

Santa wants you to know his 5 reasons for flying local – he isn’t the only one making travel plans this month. Many Central Island residents are also booking flights as winter travel season arrives.

Like St. Nick, residents are making their own lists and checking them twice. But their lists are of things they need to do for their trips and choosing Nanaimo Airport as their vacation starting point allows them to cross off a few items.

Here are five ways travellers get great value from flying local:

  1. Convenience
    The airport is within an easy half-hour’s drive of all central Island communities. Flying out of Nanaimo means no hassles with ferry lineups or sailing waits, and travellers can sleep in their own bed the night before a flight.
  2.  Affordability
    Think that fare at another airport is cheaper? Think again. Travellers using another airport will shell out for gas, ferry fare and probably a night in a hotel. Travellers using Nanaimo Airport save on all of those costs.
  3. Reliability
    Passengers using Nanaimo Airport enjoy a 98 per cent weather reliability rate, thanks to state-of-the-art technology. The airport’s instrument landing system allows nearly all scheduled flights to take off and land in most weather conditions. For travellers, that means they can count on getting where they want to go.
  4. Ease of use
    At large airports, it can take a lot of walking, luggage in tow, to find the baggage check, security, and departure gate. Nanaimo Airport’s compact and well-designed layout puts all those areas within a few steps of the front door.
    And when tired travellers return, the baggage carousel makes their life easy. Its right beside the arrival gate and luggage is usually ready to be picked up within minutes of a flight’s landing.
  5. Connections
    Central Island residents are now just a flight away from sun-soaked destinations, thanks to the endless connections available through Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. You can leave Nanaimo in the morning and be on a beach for sunset.

Travel questions? Nanaimo Airport has answers

By Travel Tips, Uncategorized

Like many things on Vancouver Island, travel is a year-round pursuit for residents.

So it’s no surprise that, even at the height of camping season, the most common questions we’re asked at Nanaimo Airport are all about vacation planning. Here are the answers to your questions (full details are at

What identification do I need for air travel?

If you’re aged 12 and above and travelling in Canada, you must have either:

  • one piece of valid government-issued photo ID ;
  • or two pieces of valid government-issued non-photo ID

In all cases, the ID must show your name, date of birth, and gender. If you’re planning international travel, a valid passport is a must. It’s also a good idea to use the Internet to check the customs agency requirements of the country you plan to visit.

How soon before my flight departs should I arrive at Nanaimo Airport?

  • We recommend arriving at least 90 minutes prior to Air Canada Express and WestJet Encore departures. You must have checked in, obtained your boarding pass and checked in all your bags 45 minutes before your flight.
  • Island Express passengers should arrive 30 minutes in advance.

What parking is available?

Nanaimo Airport offers long- and short-term stalls, as well as onsite parking for persons with disabilities. It’s $10 a day for the first 7 days, then $5 per additional day. Check our Parking Information page for full details.

If I don’t want to take my car, how can I get to the airport?

As you’ll see on our Ground Transportation page, you have many options: Nanaimo Airporter Shuttle; AC Taxi and Yellow Cab; and Greyhound bus.

If I check in early, what services are available in the departure lounge?

You can relax as we have plenty of comfortable seating, TVs with news and sports, free Internet, a play area for your kids, and food and beverage services.